Calling Dr. Brilliant

Dr Larry Brilliant gives polio drops to baby

When this seasoned epidemiologist launched his unconventional career in 1969, he fit the bill as the ‘hippie doctor’ with a penchant for Ram Dass and Wavy Gravy. Since then, this aptly named frontline worker has won public health victories over smallpox, blindness, Ebola, and COVID-19. Next? Monkeypox.

  1. New long-necked dinosaur helps rewrite evolutionary history of sauropods in South America

    A single trunk vertebra has allowed scientists to identify a new species of long-necked, plant-eating dinosaur. The creature inhabited the tropical lowland forested area of the Serranía del Perijá in northern Colombia approximately 175 million years ago.

  2. U-M study: Local renewable energy employment can fully replace U.S. coal jobs nationwide

    As of 2019, coal-fired electricity generation directly employed nearly 80,000 workers. A new U-M study quantifies—for the first time—the technical feasibility and costs of replacing those coal jobs with local wind and solar employment nationwide.

  3. Victors for Veterans: Giving them something to smile about

    Over the past decade, the University of Michigan School of Dentistry has provided free, comprehensive care valued at about $1.7 million to more than 480 veterans statewide.

  4. U-M teach-out Aug. 18: What’s next for abortion access?

    Experts on abortion access and legal challenges present a free, online teach-out to help foster thoughtful discourse on the issue of abortion, its history of litigation, and what could be expected in the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling.

  5. Regents appoint Santa Ono as University of Michigan’s next president

    Santa J. Ono, an accomplished biomedical researcher and the president and vice chancellor of the University of British Columbia, has been named the 15th president of the University of Michigan.

  6. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade: U-M experts discuss

    The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade on June 24 has far-reaching implications for women’s health and other related issues.

Watershed moments

Let’s raise a cool glass to U-M’s civil and environmental engineers who are creating a remote, real-time network of water sensors on the streams and rivers of Macomb County. The network allows local NGOs, government officials, river users, and decision-makers to observe and adapt to changes in flow dynamics across seasons, conditions, and long-term climate changes. Images are by Marcin Szczepanski, College of Engineering.

  • Diagnosis

    Students and faculty in U-M’s Digital Water Lab at the College of Engineering (COE) are collaborating with experts in the Center for Social Solutions (CSS) in the College of Literature, Science & the Arts to measure and better understand flooding in vulnerable communities.

     

     

    Engineers on bridge
  • Installation

    American businesses are expected to lose $50 billion in output in 2022 alone due to flooding, says COE’s Branko Kerkez, Arthur F. Thurnau associate professor of civil and environmental engineering. Flooding creates more damage than earthquakes and forest fires put together, he says.

     

    Experts install sensors on bridge
  • Timing is everything

    When installed throughout a watershed, these cost-effective devices will provide researchers with greater situational awareness of a flooding event in real time.

     

    Setting up sensor on bridge
  • Response and recovery

    The partnership with COE’s Kerkez and his team emphasizes the connection between data and humans, says Julie Arbit, research associate in the Center for Social Solutions (CSS).

    “We’re looking at the response and recovery phases of disasters: Who is flooded at this moment, what resources do they need, and how much damage has been incurred?”

    Measurements at the bridge
  • Making sense

    Addressing social inequity is a large motivator for the kind of engineering work Kerkez does. The collaboration with Arbit and CSS is ideal, he says.

    “Rather than just us as engineers focusing on flooding and saying, ‘Hey we have interesting solutions,’ we actually can work with somebody who understands how the community functions and what their priorities are so that the solutions we build actually make sense.”

  • Scaling up

    Researchers are evaluating “a ton of different variables and exploring a lot of different datasets,” to create a scalable methodology for application elsewhere, says CSS’ Arbit.

    “When you are able to evaluate on a very small scale how vulnerable or how resilient households are, you can make sure that equity is built into new policies, not just equality,” she says.

    Bridge